A three-month road trip around NZ (part 2)

By: Carron and Geoff Stevenson


A three-month road trip around NZ (part 2) A three-month road trip around NZ (part 2)
A three-month road trip around NZ (part 2) A three-month road trip around NZ (part 2)
A three-month road trip around NZ (part 2) A three-month road trip around NZ (part 2)
A three-month road trip around NZ (part 2) A three-month road trip around NZ (part 2)

Part two of Carron and Geoff Stevenson’s three-month road journey. This time the couple continue to explore New Zealand’s South Island.

Edendale (population 555) sits under the huge drying towers of a Fonterra Dairy Factory. On the last day of January the population exploded as steam, vintage and machinery enthusiasts gather for Edendale Vintage Machinery Club’ 2015 Crank-Up.

On our three-month odyssey around the south of New Zealand, we have been travelling where and when we feel like it, with a list of a few must do’s along the way. The annual Crank-Up event was a must do. Billed as a family day out, there was certainly something for most. The entrance fee of $15 per adult, included parking and the program, which we thought was value for money.

There were traction and stationary engines; a steam boat, steam bicycle, old racing boats and military paraphernalia; rock‘n’roll and highland dancing; crafts for sale and on display; helicopter rides; displays by the Red Cross, Fire Brigade and Police; a tractor pull; and vintage cars, tractors and trucks of every shape, age and size.

We thoroughly enjoyed the day. Think old style country fair and that would sum up the day.
There was overnight parking available for motorhomes and caravans but we stayed at the Gore A & P Showground. It is a beautiful park-like setting and, as they were preparing for its A & P show the following weekend, it was in pristine condition.

While in Gore we made time to go to Mandeville, 10km away, to visit the Thomas Croydon Aviation Museum. The museum, which is run by the Croydon Aviation Heritage Trust, is a little different in that most of the exhibits are owned by private individuals who still fly their planes.

Trip4

The display was very hands on, where you can get up close to the planes, most are not roped off. The variety of planes includes an NAC de Havilland, a simulator and a German glider that was pre WWII. Our guide explained that after WWI the German Luftwaffe weren’t allowed to fly planes, so their pilots used gliders for training.

After our visit, we returned to Central Otago to finish the bike trails. Our favourite was the Roxburgh Gorge trail which starts in Alexandra (carrying on from the Clyde to Alexandra River Trail). The trail is divided into three sections, 10km from Alexandra to Doctors Point, where you hop on a boat to go through the Roxburgh Gorge for 12km as the land owner hasn’t given his permission to have the middle section of the trail on his land. The cost of the boat transfer is around $90. The final part of the trail from Shingle Creek to Roxburgh is 11km. All three sections can be done as a one-day ride.

We chose to ride both ways, Alexandra to Doctors Point, and Roxburgh to Shingle Creek and back over two days. The scenery on the Alexandra to Doctors Point sections was amazing.

Roxburgh to Shingle Creek is a more technical ride and it scared the living daylights out of me. The zig-zags were quite steep with tight corners and my bike kept slipping in the fine gravel. Geoff rode behind me for a bit and told me that you don’t use your front brakes when turning corners. I never knew that!

I had been using both brakes equally. His advice helped, but I came off on one of the corners. Damage to Carron: one scratched finger. Damage to bike: one broken light bracket.

Read the full article in issue #130 of Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations magazine. Subscribe here.

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